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* Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

May 3, 2007

Purdue undergraduate researchers begin summer projects

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Undergraduate students from Purdue and other universities around the nation will spend the summer on the Purdue campus working on research projects that have practical applications to everyday life.

The research projects are part of the three-month Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships, or SURF, that allow students to work directly with Purdue faculty researchers.

"We will have about 200 students in this year's fellowship program," said Jay Gore, associate dean for the Purdue College of Engineering and founder of SURF. "Some of the goals of the project include introducing undergraduate students to the concept of graduate and postgraduate research and to give them the opportunity to work with university professors and researchers."

Students in the summer program come from Purdue, University of Notre Dame, Alabama A&M, Rutgers, California State University, Florida A&M, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, Edward Walters College and Norfolk State University.

Some of the research projects include:

* Studying new ways to transform coal into liquid fuels (School of Chemical Engineering).

* Developing instructional technology in first-year physics education (Department of Physics).

* Finding ways to increase the efficiency of solar cells (School of Electrical and Computer Engineering).

* Designing and testing radio-frequency antennas (School of Mechanical Engineering).

* Determining the effect of distillers' grain processing on fuel ethanol production (Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering).

* Developing steel-FRP hybrid bridge decks (School of Civil Engineering).

The SURF program was founded in 2003 through a gift from Purdue alumnus Patrick Wang. It was expanded through the sponsorship of Intel Foundation, National Science Foundation, DaimlerChrysler Corp., Purdue College of Engineering Office of Research and Entrepreneurship, and departments within the College of Engineering and College of Science. Students in the program receive a $1,000 per month stipend and attend weekly professional development seminars.

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, (765) 494-4192,

Source: Jay Gore, (765) 494-1452,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to Journalists: Specific information on each of the research projects and contact information for students involved are available by contacting Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709,

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